Sensory Retraining in Phantom Limb Pain

2019-10-01 07:55:12 | BioPortfolio


80% of people who have had an amputation still feel pain in the limb that has been amputated; this is called Phantom limb pain (PLP).

Senstrain is a new device aimed to help people with PLP through Sensory Discrimination Training (SDT). SDT is believed to encourage re-organisation of an amputee's internal (brain) map of their missing limb by mild electrical stimulation of the skin over the residual limb in specific patterns and locations. Patients are asked where they feel the stimulation: if they are correct they are told that and different patterns or locations of stimulation are applied, if not they are told what the correct location/pattern was.

There is evidence that SDT is effective - but - only when delivered by clinicians, in Health Care Settings. The Senstrain is a portable, fully-automated device that allows patients to self-deliver SDT, independently, in their own homes offering potential cost savings to the NHS and greater access to SDT for people with PLP.

The aim of this mixed-methods, single blind, randomised controlled trial is to investigate the safety and efficacy of the Senstrain for the management of phantom limb pain (PLP). Ninety-seven people with PLP will be recruited from the NHS and general public and randomised to receive either Senstrain or a placebo device. Following one instructional session from a HCPC registered Physiotherapist, participants will use Senstrain or placebo at home for 3 weeks. Participants will receive a second supportive visit on the second day, weekly phone calls and daily texts. Data will be collected on pain, function and body image at baseline, after treatment and at 3 months follow-up. Twelve participants will also be invited to a one-to-one interview to give their experience of the acceptability and usability of the device

Study Design


Phantom Limb Pain




Not yet recruiting


Teesside University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-10-01T07:55:12-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Perception of painful and nonpainful phantom sensations that occur following the complete or partial loss of a limb. The majority of individuals with an amputated extremity will experience the impression that the limb is still present, and in many cases, painful. (From Neurol Clin 1998 Nov;16(4):919-36; Brain 1998 Sep;121(Pt 9):1603-30)

Distinct regions of mesenchymal outgrowth at both flanks of an embryo during the SOMITE period. Limb buds, covered by ECTODERM, give rise to forelimb, hindlimb, and eventual functional limb structures. Limb bud cultures are used to study CELL DIFFERENTIATION; ORGANOGENESIS; and MORPHOGENESIS.

A type of pain that is perceived in an area away from the site where the pain arises, such as facial pain caused by lesion of the VAGUS NERVE, or throat problem generating referred pain in the ear.

An apraxia characterized by the affected limb having involuntary, autonomous, and purposeful behaviors that are perceived as being controlled by an external force. Often the affected limb interferes with the actions of the normal limb. Symptoms develop from lesions in the CORPUS CALLOSUM or medial frontal cortex, stroke, infarction, and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB SYNDROME, corticobasal degeneration).

Pain in the facial region including orofacial pain and craniofacial pain. Associated conditions include local inflammatory and neoplastic disorders and neuralgic syndromes involving the trigeminal, facial, and glossopharyngeal nerves. Conditions which feature recurrent or persistent facial pain as the primary manifestation of disease are referred to as FACIAL PAIN SYNDROMES.

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